Doctors have been prescribing ketogenic diets to treat epilepsy for nearly a century, and increasingly believe it holds promise for people with Type 2 diabetes.
But the older keto regimens didn’t work for most people hoping to slim down, and there’s no evidence the newly popular keto diet will be any different.
It supplies energy under circumstances such as fasting or caloric restriction to certain organs (e.g. the brain, heart, and skeletal muscle).
In ketogenesis, our livers start to break down fat into a usable energy source called ketones. Ketones can stand in for glucose as fuel for the body when there’s a glucose shortage.
Once ketogenesis kicks in and ketone levels are elevated, the body is in a state called “ketosis,” during which it’s burning stored fat.
That means eating mainly meats, eggs, cheese, fish, nuts, butter, oils, and vegetables while avoiding sugar, bread and other grains, beans, and even fruit.
Advocates of ketogenic diets for weight loss claim that ketogenesis can lead to burning 10 times more fat and an extra 400 to 600 calories per day.
This might sound great, but what’s often lost in all the boosterism is that this is still just a hypothesis.
Keto diets don’t seem to help people lose extra weight in the long run.
In the short term, keto can sometimes help people lose more weight because they cause rapid water loss, which gives people the impression they’ve lost fat.
But by the one-year mark, it performs equally to any other weight loss diet.
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